The Threepenny Opera

By Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill
Presented by Graeae Theatre Company, West Yorkshire Playhouse, New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich, Nottingham Playhouse Theatre Company and Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company
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  • The Stage The Sunday Times Musical Theatre Review
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  • The Stage "Watching this production is like being carried along in a protest march, banners in your face."
  • The Sunday Times "An exhilarating show."
  • Exeunt Magazine "The company unleash a charged, hysterical, non-stop onslaught of political commentary combined with riotous entertainment." Read more...
  • The Big Issue "It truly is a show conceived with magnificence." Read more...
  • Ceasefire Magazine "There is one hell of a theatrical collaboration going on here – but then, in many respects, this is one hell of a theatrical production." Read more...
  • Musical Theatre Review "This no-holds-barred event has everything Brecht must have wanted: aggro, cheek, biting irony, vengefulness, hypocrisy – and flair." Read more...
  • Socialist Worker "Fast and funny with strong acting and singing performances." Read more...
  • Theatre World Internet Magazine "A no holds barred production."
  • Reviews Gate "Brecht would have loved it."
  • The Limping Chicken "The coffee bill for this show must be through the roof, but, fortunately, so is the energy and the talent." Read more...

Imagine a world where evil goes unpunished, money is corrupt, the law is fickle and lowly souls remain on the poverty line. London’s most notorious criminal, Macheath, has recently married Polly, the daughter of Jonathan Peachum, leader of the beggars.

Mr. Peachum is so displeased that he concocts a plan to have his new son-in-law hanged.  Through a deceitful web of blackmail, bribery and brothels, Macheath is eventually caught and taken to the gallows. Will he hang or will society offer him an escape?

An opera for beggars.
Conceived with magnificence such as only beggars could imagine, and an economy such as only beggars could afford

The New Wolsey Theatre’s Peter Rowe and Graeae’s Jenny Sealey have joined forces once again to bring you their anarchic version of Weill and Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera – adapted from John Gay’s The Beggars Opera.

A motley cast of characters reinvents this classic from the writer of The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Mother Courage, with Kurt Weill’s iconic music played live on stage by the actors themselves. Including well-known songs such as Mack the Knife and Pirate Jenny, expect a riotous musical comedy you will be begging to see!

English translation of the dialogue by Robert David MacDonald

English translation of the lyrics by Jeremy Sams

Original German text based on Elisabeth Hauptmann’s German Translation of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera.

Tour dates 2014: 

21 February – 8 March 2014
Nottingham Playhouse

12 March – 22 March 2014
Nottingham Playhouse

27 March – 12 April 2014
Birmingham Repertory Theatre

24 April – 10 May 2014
West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

BSL Interpretation


All performances include audio description and a creative combination of BSL interpretation and captioning.

Suitable for ages 12 and up.

Image gallery

  • The Threepenny Opera, 2014.
  • The Threepenny Opera, 2014.
  • The Threepenny Opera, 2014.
  • The Threepenny Opera, 2014.
  • The Threepenny Opera, 2014.
  • The Threepenny Opera, 2014.

Image gallery

  • Macheath
    Milton Lopes
  • Polly
    CiCi Howells
  • JJ Peachum
    Garry Robson
  • Mrs Peachum
    Victoria Oruwari
  • Lucy
    Natasha Lewis
  • Jenny
    Amelia Cavallo
  • Tiger Brown
    Will Kenning
  • Dolly
    Sophie Byrne
  • Betty
    Barbara Hockaday
  • Bob
    Joe Vetch
  • Jake
    Ben Goffee
  • Nellie
    Stacey Ghent
  • Ned
    Stephen Collins
  • Maisie
    Sonia Allori
  • Filch
    Max Runham
  • Narrator
    John Kelly
  • Rev Kimball
    Joey Hickman
  • Director — Jenny Sealey & Peter Rowe
  • Designer — Neil Murray
  • Musical Director & Arranger — Robert Hyman
  • Movement Director — Mark Smith
  • Projections Designer — Mark Haig
  • Lighting Designer — Malcom Rippeth
  • Sound Designer — Drew Baumohl
  • Performance MD — Joey Hickman
  • Casting Director — Debbie O'Brien
  • Audio Describer / Access Support Worker — Wayne 'Pickles' Norman
  • Sign Language Interpreter — Jude Mahon
  • Access Support Worker — Helen Bryer